Friday 12th August 2016
Flystrike and the dangers of mucky bums!!
Here are Skerry and Burr: both look fab! They are alert, in great shape, standing well... except if you were to look at the other ends you would see that Burr has a VERY mucky bum. Our newbies have been with us almost a week now and unfortunately all three Whiteface Dartmoors have pretty runny poo (Skerry and the other Shetlands are fine…). There are LOTS of reasons why this could be and we are hoping it is due to a change of grass (as mentioned on 10th).
The trouble is that whatever the reason, mucky back ends are a perfect breeding ground for flies who adore laying their eggs in smelly, damp, poo-covered fleeces. Said eggs then hatch and the resulting maggots begin to bury themselves further into the fleece to the point where they then enter the sheep’s skin and start to munch. NOT a pleasant experience for the sheep at all. ‘Flystrike’ can kill if left untreated and of course will cause a huge amount of discomfort and pain.
Tomorrow we are going to set up a sheep race in the 6-acre field - basically we will use hurdles to create a funnel into a 'collecting' pen, connected to a ’race' (narrow corridor), leading into a small 'holding' pen - the idea being we can then 'funnel' the sheep in. We will then wash bums and treat with an anti-flystrike spray.
IF the runny poo continues into next week we may need to get the poo tested to see if something else is going on here.
We also have the option of putting the three ewes in the barn and feeding them on hay only for a day or two, hay being far less rich than fresh grass. They won't like that one little bit!!